Psychosocial Mediators of a Walking Intervention Among African American Women
Many Americans are sedentary and would reduce their disease risk if they increased their levels of physical activity to 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week. This descriptive exploratory study addresses how to maximize adherence to a physical activity prescription. A sample of 14 older African American women enrolled in a walking intervention study participated in three focus-group discussions of barriers to and facilitators of walking. Focus groups were audiotaped, transcribed, and examined by three nurse researchers using analytic induction, content analysis, and grounded theory techniques. Women who participated in the focus-group discussions identified lack of family support, perceived or real family obligations, personal health status, and neighborhood safety as factors influencing adherence to physical activity. A necessary component of successful walking maintenance was the confidence and support of the woman's family. The most compelling reason for continued walking in this group was to help others.
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